Iain Murray's America's Cup update

ACRM CEO discusses AC45 wing extensions, AC72s and possible Louis Vuitton Cup scenarios
Iain Murray, Regatta Director for the 34th America’s Cup and CEO of America’s Cup Race Management last night brought us up to date with the latest from Cup-land. When he spoke, Murray, a yacht designer by trade, was dabbling with how the revised branding was going to look on the AC45s now that the first boats – Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa – have been fitted with wing extensions. These add an extra 4m to the 21.5m AC45 wing's air draft, or an additional 8sqm onto the existing 85sqm. Following these initial trials that it sounds like sailing with the extension fitted is likely to be the norm, with their only being taken off on extra-breezy days. “It is fair to say that we probably ended up sailing in more wind than we envisaged,” said Murray of the ETNZ/Luna Rossa trials that have been taking place off Auckland over the course of the last two weeks. “The feedback from the crews is that they didn’t notice having the extra sail area up there. All went well and the testing of the TV equipment on both of those boats went according to plan and we experienced no difficulties. We had a slight incident with one of the transformers with the 3GHz RF signal that we will sort out.” Murray says that they were sailing in up to 18-20 knots in flat water with the enlarged wings and there were no structural issues. The reason the wing extensions were introduced was due to the America’s Cup World Series visiting Venice in May this year where conditions are expected to be very light. “Our target was to get the boats to lift hulls in 5 knots of wind upwind and downwind,” said Murray, who adds that without the extension, hull flying typically occurs in 7-8 knots.